Rheumatoid arthritis remission stories is for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute medical advice for the right treatment plan for your condition or how to achieve remission. For questions about your own health care, please speak to your rheumatologist.
Rheumas of Remission
Like many people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I went on a quest to find a cure. I was, still am, a big believer in the power of food and natural medicine and was adamant that I would be able to rid myself of this awful disease! There were countless hours spent researching and trolling support groups for things to do and try.
I have come to learn that there are two types of RA Warriors: those that believe in a cure and those that adhere to the medical belief that there is no such thing. For those that belong in the latter group, there is however remission. In some ways, cure and remission are almost the same thing depending on how you define remission. Either way, it can be a contentious topic and I have no intention of turning this into a debate. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: relief or some resemblance of pre-RA life. This week, I was told by my rheumatologist that I may be in remission so I want to share with you my thoughts on this and what we can take from rheumatoid arthritis remission stories.
What is remission?
There is no exact definition of remission and it’s interpretation will vary from person to person. Even when hearing rheumatoid arthritis remission stories, you will come to see everyone has different ideas as to what remission is. Doctors however have certain markers that they use to determine whether or not a patient is in remission but these markers are also not absolute. Generally speaking, remission is achieved where there is no longer any disease activity. This can be determined with blood work, MRIs and even X-rays.
The thing with remission is that there is also relapse. There is no defined rheumatoid arthritis remission length. Some enjoy for a remission indefinitely, some only for a short while. The way I look at it, I’ll take remission for however long I can get it! Am I right?!
Rheumatoid arthritis remission criteria
For people living with a chronic disease however, remission is not about what it says on your blood test results. There have been many a time I have been told my blood work was showing improvement when in reality, I felt worse. Remission, for RA patients revolves around our symptoms. I interpret remission as being pain free or without 1000+ medications. It’s about not having joint pain first thing in the morning, being on clinical trials for better meds, not weighing up treatment options or seeking information about anti-inflammatory diets. Most importantly, RA remission for me is moving in the direction of where my life used to be years before RA reared it’s ugly head.
My rheumatoid arthritis remission story
Since my diagnosis, RA for me has been a bit of a yo-yo. Bad, better, good, bad, good, bad, better, BAD, better. Then there’s the meds: lots of meds, less meds, new meds, change meds, add meds, less meds, add meds. Less than 2 months ago, I was going through a pretty bad flare. I felt like I had returned to when I was first diagnosed. The inflammation was really bad in my hands, I struggled to get out of bed and walking was just so difficult. The fatigue with RA was also horrible. I just wanted to do nothing but sleep even though I had just woken up!
As a result, my rheumy put me back on Methotrexate (10mg/week) which, I had been off for a few months and my rheumy reckons that going off the Methotrexate is what put me in the flare. The interesting thing is, I was taken off MTX because apparently it wasn’t helping me much and back then I was taking 20mg.
Can it really be remission?
At my next appointment, a month later, I was still not seeing much improvement so my dosage of MTX was increased to 20mg. A month after that, I go back to the rheumy and this is where he tells me that he thinks I may be in remission! My blood work showed no active disease activity, my joints were moving better and the physical signs of inflammation were no longer there. This came as a real surprise to me because although I was feeling much better, I still wasn’t great?! Admittedly, I feel better and I can do more but I don’t feel at all like I’m anywhere near remission.
I’m also not getting my hopes up. Over the next few months, I will halve my Sulfasalazine and see how that goes. During this time, I would’ve also returned to on site work which, will play havoc on my stress levels so I’m not getting excited just yet about possible remission.
How to put rheumatoid arthritis into remission
So… you’re probably wondering, how did you do it?! How did you get onto Remission Rd?
Well, that’s just the thing, I have no idea.
I’d hardly done any real exercise.
I’ve been eating all the wrong things and then some.
I was put back on MTX which didn’t help me the first time I took it and for a much longer period.
My most recent flare was only 2 months prior.
For the past year or so, I have been taking MTX, Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and Sulfasalazine. I’m not stating this because I think it’s the magic combo. Each person with RA will have a different cocktail of meds that will work for them. I wanted to state my meds because I want to point out that I am at this point (remission) while taking medication. Rheumatoid arthritis remission without medication may work for some but it didn’t work for me. You can read more about that here. I have, and will always advocate for doing what works best for you.
I get remission, You get remission, Everyone gets remission
Remission as I see it, is a bit of a lottery. I, like many others, have tried many different ways to improve our symptoms. What works for one doesn’t work for another as I’ve discovered. Some have found remission from a change in diet, some have found remission after finding the right combination of meds and others have found remission after moving to another state. The idea I think is not to lose faith.
Rheumatoid arthritis success stories can sometimes be a real bummer to read about, especially if you have been an RA warrior for many many years and have tried everything. By the same token rheumatoid arthritis recovery stories can offer great hope. That’s why I’ve chosen to share my story because remission can just be really spontaneous and random. It could also be a combination of things that overtime, has made a difference. The point is to just keep going. Keep living life the best you can and give it the best you got. There will be some horrible days but there will also be good days. You can read more about RA warrior life here or what it means to beat RA here.
I view RA as a race. The finish line is remission or cure, whichever word you want to use. I have hope that there is a finish line and that I will get to that finish line. The race however, is not a sprint but a marathon. I’ve settled in for the long haul and I’ll just take each day as it comes.The Rheuma Mill
Rheumatoid arthritis chat room
Join our Facebook support group here. You can ask questions and mingle with other people with rheumatoid arthritis stories. There is also a I love someone with RA support group here if you fall into that category. Support groups are a great way to share RA stories. You can learn a lot from rheumatoid arthritis personal stories, including rheumatoid remission.
If you have put your rheumatoid arthritis in remission, share your story in the comments section!